Selling Uncle Sam
the Cover for Harpers "Selling Uncle Sam" was originally "United We Brand, A Super Bowl Spot for Uncle Sam". Art director Robb Rice and I went through a verbal litanny before hammering on visuals.
The story is a forum among several creative ad representatives challenged to create an ad to run during the Super Bowl. The ad would be to promote the federal government, which desperately could use a brand makeover.
The last idea, based on this sketch, is what we went with. Its fairly fast and makes sense for the story- which is a round table of ad execs from W+K, Goodby and others. Its a pretty entertaining read. Quite thoughtful. Since the Pats stand a decent chance of making a run to the Super Bowl we figured this image would pop off the rack.
another ideas was to inject the NFL logo ball, rearranged with USA inside threads and mask an image of gov't reborn. The cruxt of the article is how to rebrand government. Government has a bad rap, especially when associated with congress.
My first idea was to do a riff on the "this is a test, this is only a test" screen image you see.. kinda old school an minimal but not so funny/ interesting. another was a layered collage using 2 images. We tried to incorporate gov't logos but the image needed to be fast and just off the rack.
This is the original Pats logo. Its sharp. One of my favorites that ushered in today's rebranded NFL. Its was designed by Kevin Oh if my memory serves me. Kevin and I briefly worked on a job some years ago. Who knows where he is now.
Another brief idea was to do something more literal... this is too obvious and leaves no room for imagination
here is the last working cover art directed by Robb Rice working covers for Rick MacArthur and Roger Black. Pick it up. Good read.

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